Thursday, February 11, 2016

First World Heart Problems

The other day, my heart started kathunking weirdly.

It went beatbeatbeatbeat....pause...THUMP...beatbeatbeatbeat...pause... THUMP...beatbeatbeatbeat...

After about 24 hours of that, I emailed my doctor's office and told them my heart was being weird but not to worry because I'm a psychosomatic hypochondriac and I probably just needed some attention.

They made me get an EKG and wear a Holter monitor for 24 hours.

I took a selfie, of course.

The internet had a lot of theories about what was going on. I thought it was adverse drug interactions. Jeff thought it was anxiety. My therapist thought it was probably a mix.

It took about a week to get all the results back, and while we waited, we all decided no news was good news.

Then a couple evenings ago, my actual doctor called my actual phone and talked to me with his actual voice. He dialed the number himself and everything.

He said, "Yep, your heart is being weird."

The good news is that nothing dangerous is going on. It's just ventricular ectopic heartbeats. Ectopic means "wrong place". In other words, my heart is making early heartbeats that are harmless but unpleasant. Here is a nifty video about it:



It apparently has a lot of names. Premature ventricular contractions (PVC), ventricular ectopic beats, extrasystoles, and as I like to call them, my first world heart problems.

Why are they first world heart problems? Because they're caused by my first world lifestyle.

If you want to have first world heart problems like me, just do the following:

1. Have PTSD and take 200mg of sertraline daily, see an endocrinologist and let him prescribe 37.5mg of phentermine daily, and finally, get the nasty head cold that's going around and pop DayQuil like it's candy, being sure to fill up on 10mg of phenylephrine every four hours as needed.

2. Decide it's a good time to do the taxes, and spend two days looking for tax documents, and get really irritated that you can't find them, and get mad at your husband for not magically producing them on command even though he is not the one who misplaced them, and proceed to begin the taxes without said documents even though you have never ever filed business taxes in Washington before and you don't know what you're doing because the instructions are in the missing tax documents.

3. Drink a lot of coffee all day long for three days so that you can stay awake to do the taxes.

4. Stay up super duper late every night so that you can work on the taxes in peace and quiet.

5. Forget to eat, drink basically zero water (cuz coffee), take in basically no nutrients or any kind of heart-healthy food, and sit for hours at a time.

And voila! You'll get first world heart problems!

I was pretty worried that my doctor would say my irregular heartbeat was caused by mixing medications and I would have to stop taking phentermine. I like phentermine because it's an appetite suppressant and I've lost 14 pounds since I started taking it.

My doctor assured me that I could stay on phentermine... IF.

If I did the following:

1. Take in magnesium, electrolytes, and nutritious food.
2. Stay hydrated.
3. Drink way less coffee.
4. Get good sleep.
5. Avoid stress.

Uh, sure. No problem. I'll get right on that. Especially the avoid stress part.

But here's the thing.

The only way to get Becky to do something is to make the alternative worse, right?

So I'd been asking God to help me be healthy. I thought he'd answer by bestowing upon me a heavenly attitude and a divine determination to change my lifestyle. Or something.

But... changing my lifestyle is not better than Jeff's pasta. Or a lot of buttered, salted popcorn. Or the stress-reduction technique of scarfing down half a bag of Juanita's in one sitting without realizing it.

However, it turns out changing my lifestyle IS better than something. And that something is first world heart problems.

But do you see?

First world heart problems are the answer to my prayer. They are grace upon grace.

So that's happy.

"For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace" (John 1:16).